Friday, 6 February 2015

Homemaking and Routine

The boys went back to school this week (big tears!) and we moved into the new house over the holidays. Now it is time to get serious! 
I am determined that a tightly organised homemaking routine will keep this house running smoothly. And determined to take this quote to heart and rid myself of the feminist baggage I am carrying (still!) about feeling that making a home isn't a 'real' job. 

Who doesn't love blogs like The Glamorous HousewifeBrocante Home and all the wonderful blogs that appear when you search for 'vintage homemaker' or '1950s housewife'. 

So for inspiration I am looking at the following posts:

How To Be A Good Wife - from a 1950s school textbook.
A 1950s Wife Guide Rules
The Modern Day 50s Housewife
This is a really detailed one from A Traditional Housewife Against The World
There are some great posts on The Retro Housewife Life, such as Greeting Your Husband ProperlyLiving A Selfless Life and Is This Really What Its ComeTo? 

And there are many more! 
I am also using a number of books, such as Large Family Logistics, which I love, Cleaning House, The Good Wife's Guide and Managers Of Their Homes, in the hope of setting up and implementing this.

The Real 1950s Cleaning Routine can be found here, at the The 50s Housewife blog. When I first read this post, I admit to thinking that is crazy, I don't have the time to dedicate to that much cleaning! But the author notes that she now has more time as everything is organised, there is no rushing around at the last minute trying to find necessary items and, as everything is in place, it is much easier to maintain.

Clutter is my cleaning nightmare. Over-accumulation is something I am working on. And once this is overcome, I am sure everything will run much more smoothly.

Last year, I set up my Home Management Binder, which is a recommended tool by most cleaning books and blogs. Now I will actually put some schedules in it.

We have all heard the sayings about 'Wash on Monday', etc. I intend to do this too, just mix it up a little to suit.

Daily Morning Schedule

Up and dressed
Prepare breakfast
Make lunches (if a work/school day)
Start first load of laundry (if not laundry day, there will only be one load for day)
Make beds
Tidy bedrooms as needed
Wipe down bathroom sink/cabinets/toilet
Check emails/blog (for half an hour - this is VERY hard to stick to!)
Feed chickens, collect eggs
Weed, plant and harvest (half an hour a day, plus extra on gardening day)

Daily Evening Schedule

Dinner and dinner clean up
Feed dog and cat
Check calender for anything needed for tomorrow
Lay out clothes for tomorrow
Put away dishes, wipe down kitchen sink and bench tops

In between these two schedules will be slotted a different daily activity, depending on the day of the week.

Monday Is Laundry Day

Wash towels, bedding as well as normal laundry load
At the end of the laundry session, clean laundry. Wipe down machine, sink, benchtops, tidy inside cupboards, cobwebs, wipe walls, sweep floor. (I have an outside laundry, so it gets pretty dusty).

Tuesday Is Kitchen Day

Baking for freezer - I also bake every second day for school lunches and use the freezer baking in between.
Make yoghurt
Make two freezer meals
Clean out the fridge and wipe clean
Clean oven
Clean all appliances
Mop floor
Take turns in cleaning different cupboards, drawers, pantry ie. first week of month, clean pantry, second week clean drawers, third week clean cupboards, fourth week clean canning storage area

Wednesday Is Office Day

Manage calender
Pay bills and check bank accounts to organise any transfers of funds needed
Make meal plans
Make shopping lists for groceries and any other items needed for following week ie. for school, sport activities
Make dentist, doctor appointments as needed
Sort library books to return
Plan blog posts for following week

Thursday Is Cleaning Day

Trying to embrace this concept!

Clean TV and computer screens, mirrors and picture frames
Clean shower and bath
Plus one Deep Cleaning area each week (see below)

Friday Is Town Day

The boys' school has Chapel first thing on a Friday morning
After Chapel, Cuddlepie has Playgroup
Library visit
Bank, if needed
Assembly at school in the afternoon

Saturday Is Gardening Day

Dad is home, so this is the day we try to convince him to build stuff for the new garden!
Rake leaves
Sweep porch and paths
Mow lawn
Cut and stack firewood
Any big weeding/plant removal jobs
Clean out car (how do all those toys migrate from the house to the car every week?!)

Deep Cleaning Routine

As mentioned for Cleaning Day, this day will be different every week of the month as the Focus Zones change.
None of this should be too much hard work, if all the clutter has been maintained during normal clean up times. I'm not mentioning things that will have been done weekly, like dusting, cobwebs, vacuuming, etc.

Week 1 - Dining Room/Hall/Bookshelves

Dust bookshelves, including tops
Return any books that are floating around the house (all the time at my house!)
Polish dining room furniture
Clean light fittings

Week 2 - Bathrooms and Mudroom/Back Door Entry

Empty, wipe out and organise drawers and cupboards
Clean down that annoying crack between the shower and the bath (only a man who didn't have to clean it would have designed the bathroom like that!) and other corners and crevices.
Clean light fitting
Do a toiletries and medical inventory to see what needs stocking up
Sort out shoe shelf at back door
Cobwebs and sweep back door step

Week 3 - Bedrooms

Sort out bedside tables
Sort out wardrobe
Clean under the bed
Clean light fittings/lamps

Week 4 - Living Room

Pull apart the couches and vacuum
Dust DVD shelves
Clean light fitting

Say it to yourself, 'Housework rules, housework rules!'

Seasonal Chores - every three months

Wash windows
Sort clothing and shoes, put away seasonal clothing
Pull out major appliances, like fridge and washing machine, and clean

I am sure this will be a work in progress and will change as circumstances change (and I realise things I have forgotten to include!) But I feel it is a god starting place and certainly better than the haphazard way I have been working to date.

Are you ready to be a vintage housewife with me?!


  1. Wow I was worn out just reading this, but I think it is wonderful Jayne, I am going to print it out and try and modify it for myself. If you have time you could link this up on Monday at Good Morning Mondays, lots of us can really benefit from a great schedule. Hope you are well and faring ok with the children at School. Blessings

    1. Thanks so much, Terri - it is a bit of a long post! I was planning on linking on Monday with you. Apologies for not making it over for the last few weeks - hopefully getting a bit more settled now. I was just thinking of you today, so lovely to hear from you.

  2. You must be very busy, when you move house it always takes time to settle down and find that perfect spot for everything. I totally understand about you not getting time to link up, so no problems. I have missed your posts though. Have a great week and thanks for sharing this with us, blessings.

    1. That's kind of you to say. I guess blogging is a bit like writing a diary of sorts. It is nice though when other people are interested.

    2. This still makes me tired just reading it 😉 thanks for linking it up and I'm always interested in what people are doing. Blessings Jayne

  3. I'm impressed - I don't like lists so I do things when they need doing and everything seems to get done and my house is very tidy which makes cleaning so much easier. I also work full-time so learning how to clean and cook quickly is an important skill to have. I do like the links to the 1950's style blogs, some look very interesting.

    1. Wow, I'm impressed! It does make it so much easier to clean when everything is tidy - sounds like that doesn't make sense, but we know what we mean! You certainly must be very organised. Thanks for visiting.

  4. Organization is the key to keeping a tidy home. I know it sounds like one of those slogans that you aren’t supposed to take seriously, but it’s totally true! Having a schedule that categorizes your cleaning and breaking down the entire process helps speed things up, fitting an entire cleaning regimen into a tight time frame.

    Blanca Douglas @ Safeclean Ealing

    1. Thanks for visiting! I find I really need a routine. It just makes it so much easier to keep on top of things.